Resource companies routinely play down health and environmental effects of projects in favour of overstating economic and employment benefits, a new report has found.
The report which was commissioned by the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, analysed seven NSW coal mining and gas projects currently in the assessment process.
The conclusion from one analysis shows the value to NSW of Ashton Coal’s Camberwell open-cut mine had been overstated by $260million, the Newcastle Herald reports
“Local communities like Bulga and Camberwell in the Hunter Valley are bearing the true cost of mining, with serious impacts on their well-being and way of life, while most of the profits flow overseas,” Nature Conservation Council campaigns director Kate Smolski said.
The report also found mining companies regularly downplay the impacts on vegetation and ignored health costs.
‘‘This report clearly shows why the government must overhaul the planning system to ensure that economic claims made by developers are thoroughly assessed by an independent body,’’ Smolski said.
But the findings have been dismissed by NSW Minerals Council chief executive Stephen Galilee who said the report was a rehash of discredited anti-mining claims.
‘‘The Greens and other groups behind the Australia Institute won’t be happy until all mining stops. This would devastate the Hunter economy and destroy our way of life, but that does not seem to worry them,’’ Galilee said.
‘‘By dismissing the importance of the jobs created by mining these groups are dismissing the economic welfare of over 80,000 mining workers and their families, including around 20,000 miners in the Hunter, in addition to all the indirect jobs created in supply and support industries.’’